HETTON Lyons Cricket Club’s successful Sunday football team is folding – after more than a decade of glorious success.
Chairman Brad Groves and manager Stu Gooden have decided to call it a day for a variety of reasons, despite golden memories of four national FA Sunday Cups and numerous County and domestic triumphs in the Durham Sunday League.
Gooden said: “We just feel the time is right to call it a day, with everything going on with Sunday football (ie, with the Durham League having all the domestic finals on Friday nights during the season – because of this we stopped entering three seasons ago), this year’s County Cup final (the pinnacle of the season) being played on a Thursday night, also now in the FA. Sunday Cup there`s now no prize money or expenses paid for anywhere you go in the country.
“We are going out on high in winning the Premier League and being unbeaten all season in the league.
“We have had 17 fantastic seasons. As well as winning lots of domestic cups, we have won the FA Sunday Cup four times (2006, 2008, 2010, 2012), the Durham FA County Cup seven times (01, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 14) also the Durham and District Premier League 13 out of 17 seasons.
“I’m proud to have been part of it for so long, firstly as a player for two years, then, along with Jason Ainsley, Brad`s assistant manager for seven seasons, then, when Brad became chairman, became joint manager with Gary Pearson for a season, then manager on my own for the past four seasons.
“I’ve got loads of people to thank, starting with my best marra, Alan ‘Reggie` Pearson, who has been with the club from the start, firstly as captain, then onto the management team, then my assistant.
“Thanks to all the management and committee – they have been fantastic – and a massive thank you to Brad Groves, who started it all off in 1998/99. Without him and his massive high standards, we wouldn’t have achieved anything like we have done.
“We owe everything to him.
“Finally, I want to thank all the players we`ve had in the 17 seasons from 1998/99 to 2014/15. We`ve had some top top Northern League players playing for us, had some great teams and great times. More importantly than that, they’re all top top lads who I’ll be mates with for life. Thanks lads.”